News Release

Palace cautions about mass gathering during vaccine rollout as inoculations hit 120K a day

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. reminded the public to coordinate beforehand with their respective local government units (LGUs) before proceeding to vaccination sites to prevent mass gathering.

“Iwasan po natin ang nangyaring vaccine rollout sa isang mall sa Parañaque kahapon po kung saan nagkumpul-kumpulan ang mga tao at nawala ang social distancing,” said Secretary Roque in a press briefing on May 18, 2021.

The Palace spokesperson said that he understands the excitement of many people toward the vaccine from Pfizer, but reminded the public to follow the guidelines and announcements of their respective LGUs.

“Makipagtulungan po tayo sa inyong LGU. Kung may-schedule ang inyong lungsod na itong grupo lamang ang magpapabakuna, sundin po natin ito,” reminded Secretary Roque.

In the same press briefing, National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon said that the incident during the vaccine rollout in Parañaque yesterday shows the Filipinos’ increasing vaccine confidence.

Sec. Dizon added that he understands that some people have vaccine preferences, however he also reminded Filipinos that all the vaccines that are now in the country are safe and effective. Dizon also reminded the public to adhere to the minimum public health standards when going to their vaccination schedule.

The NTF Deputy Chief Implementer also acknowledged the quick response of Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez on the incident yesterday, and assured that the following rollout will be much better.

Meanwhile, NTF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr, in the said press briefing, said that the Philippines can now do more than 120,000 jabs a day. On May 15, 2021, the Philippines recorded its highest number of jabs per day at 120,529.

Secretary Galvez also commented on the registration of vaccinees as one of the challenges being faced by some LGUs. He said that what some LGUs and some private sector groups do is to go around communities to educate the public about the benefits of vaccination.

On reported vaccine wastage, Galvez said that they are currently investigating some reports on vaccine wastage, which he said is still very minimal as of now. To prevent wastage, Sec. Galvez said that they follow the World Health Organization protocol of having a vaccine safety officer who will ensure vaccine status and efficacy, as well as the integrity of the cold chain system in storage.

The Vaccine Czar also mentioned that of the PhP82.5-Billion allocation for vaccines, Php58-Billion was loaned through the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Of the said amount, Galvez said that only the payment for the purchase of 4.5-Million doses of Sinovac, plus the advance payments for Gamaleya and Moderna vaccines have been spent so far. ###OPS-PCOO